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Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Comments

Richard

Should not the fact that the whites in South Africa did not pay for the land that they stole originally and have been compensated with generations worth of colonial level compensations much of which has already been removed to safely white capitalist countries, just why do these exploitative racist farmers have to be compensated in any way. Should not jail time be considered for what is at minimun decades worth of theft and much outright violence. It is not a coincedence that a white South African boss is given only a few months in jail for beating and feeding his worker to the lions. A real revolution is needed in South Africa. Perhaps life expectancy for the African natives will reverse its decline. No Justice No Peace

Joshua Vincent

Well and good for South Africa, but the national government just forced Johannesburg (and the other towns) to abandon the land value tax in July. Already, my cousin and his wife are selling their Jo-Burg house.

Namibia has actually gone further with LVT as a way to get land into the hands of the people with Mugabe-zation. Namibia, a Quiet Success

Compared to South Africa’s (RSA) stumbling efforts at land reform (they dumped LVT because some very important foreigners told them to), and Zimbabwe’s land grabbing Berserker-as-Government philosophy, Namibia’s experience has been the bane of the wild-eyed. No trauma, no train-wreck outcomes, little noise.

This sane process is what theorists expect of LVT: a use of market forces to achieve justice and equity, without the guns, corpses and mayhem that mar so much of our planet’s history.

The national land value tax, imposed on agricultural land raised N$28 million ($4.6 million US) in 2005. The cash is going to willing, mostly foreign sellers (who have become more willing since LVT started) and the land transferred to Namibians.

There are concerns that farms at the margin of viability owned by smallholders might be sold, but this is not seen as a reason to abandon the program.

The Dutch government has funded a study of the program, as it exists. The study is fair and well done, and compares the Namibian experience to neighbors to the North and south. Happily, the Euro-tendency to doubt success that does not entail confiscatory policies is muted: http://www.lac.org.na/lead/Pdf/landwefarm.pdf .

By taking the Taiwanese and Japanese alternative, instead of the Mugabe abyss or RSA errors, Namibia enjoys the civic peace its people deserve.

Mark Braund

Richard,

I sympathise with your view. But South Africa has, I think provided an example to the world of how reconciliation can move a people forward. Sure, there's still much to do, but it could have been much worse. I fear the kind of retribution you seek would only result in decades more suffering.

Joshua,

Thanks very much for the info on Namibia. I'll read the report and delve deeper. The best way to sell an idea is with evidence of it working in practice.

Best,

Mark

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